Vancouver umbrella sharing service UmbraCity launches its first ad campaign

Who: UmbraCity and Cossette Vancouver.

What: “Umbrellas when you need them,” the first ad campaign for the Vancouver-based umbrella-sharing service.

When & where: The campaign broke on Jan. 9 using out-of-home and UmbraCity’s kiosks.

Why: It’s an awareness campaign for the company, which is looking to grow beyond its home market. UmbraCity currently has about 50 kiosks in the Vancouver area, although co-founder Amir Entezari expects that number to grow to 100 within six months.

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 1.52.40 PM.pngWhat is UmbraCity? Entezari likens it to a bike-sharing service, except for umbrellas. Users can rent umbrellas from UmbraCity’s downtown Vancouver locations—plus on the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University campuses—for just $1 for 24 hours.

It’s a particularly useful service for  a rainy climate like Vancouver’s, he says.

But while UmbraCity is filling a public need, the company also operates as an advertising platform. The company sells advertising on both the umbrellas (see picture) and the 32-inch digital screens at its kiosks. TD Insurance is among the advertisers.

How: The ads for UmbraCity are straightforward, showing a group of people—a bride, a student and a businessman—all caught in an unexpected rainstorm, faces distorted by one of the raindrops headed their way.

So what’s next? UmbraCity has partnered with what Entezari describes as “major university” in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area to launch the service in that market in the spring with other major markets also on the radar.

And we quote:Everyone can relate to being caught out in the rain. We thought this was the perfect human truth to drive home the benefit of using UmbraCity—so you always have an umbrella at the ready, without having to actually carry one around.” —Katie Ainsworth, executive creative director, Cossette Vancouver.

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 2.13.07 PM.png


Chris Powell